Isuzu Bighorn, 1997, 3.1D, radiator problem.

mack77, Jun 9, 10:38am
I'm looking at buying a 3.1D Isuzu Bighorn that the seller says has a new radiator because when he was towing his boat over the Lindis Pass it blew a hole in the radiator of the Isuzu. What would have caused this mishap and is there anything to worry about now? It's only done 173k km and has only had the one NZ owner since being imported nine years ago.

caleb.b, Jun 9, 10:49am
Brothers Nissan Terrano did the same last week, Got hot under load and blew a hole in the top of the radiator. It was plastic topped and I guess 25 year old plastic gets brittle. Could be just the same but would be worth having a mechanical inspection done before purchasing

franc123, Jun 9, 11:13am
You would have to suspect why its suddenly up for sale after this little mishap. I would be checking VERY carefully for signs of a head gasket leak or ring damage, either excess pressure in the coolant and/or white or bluish exhaust smoke that shouldn't be there. How easy and even it starts and runs when its dead cold could also be a giveaway.

andy61, Jun 9, 9:55pm
The Bighorns are prone to cracking heads , so I would be very wary of buying a car that has just had radiator issues,my bet is it has been overheated and the owner wants to unload the problems onto someone else, walk away and find a better car.

strobo, Jun 10, 5:22am
It's a 4jg2 engine , there will be a good reason for it blowing wether it be a split hose or what ever .being a turbo it will run hot, Cracked head or gasket as mentioned above but he must have some idea why & maybe not saying . , if it fumes at the top end through the pcv line - inlet pipe or the oil fill cap hole then there is all possibility the engine is worn ,look for oil in the inlet side too.,, they are known for chucking oil up at the top end .The inj /pmp(prob EFI ) + injectors + turbo get worn at higher kms too.
Infrequent oil changes will shorten the life of the isuzu engine.
.Any cooked 4jg2 is best to stay away from , a replacement engine would be needed.patching them up is hardly long term.It will be a real smoker too, betcha!.

mack77, Jun 11, 11:35pm
Thanks to all the above posters, I really appreciate your advice.

petermcg, Jun 12, 8:24am
And i saying all that , if it did in fact blow a hole in the radiator, especially if it was the plastic tank part, driver would be alerted almost imediately, and it may not have been overheated. See if you can find out more.

mack77, Jun 27, 11:31am
Thanks "petermcg"; that's a good point. I don't know whether the blow out occurred in the plastic top tank or the main part of the radiator. I will follow it up.

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